...at the same time, the road to self realization can be a lonely one - you no longer hold on to the relationships that were dragging you down or you simply direct your energy towards more constructive pursuits, instead of trying to please everyone. Your new attitude might seem strange and cause a threat who those who want things to stay as they are, even if they are not conscious of it. I caught myself middle-thought. They say you are a sum of 5 people you spend the most time with. I mostly spend time alone but I think in these days we can assume that online interaction counts. Except that then we are dealing with online facet of this person. I am not sure what are the exact basis of these statement but I think there is no doubt that our closest environment has the biggest impact on us. I don't mean to play a psychologist here, I just entertain the thought That's what I do and I never claim to be a scholar of any sort. I dance with thoughts
I used to feel sad when people were leaving the country. I would postpone my travels and plans just to be able to hang out more with someone. Then I realized that hardly anyone was ever that thoughtful towards me. And it's ok, I say it without bitterness. Now, at the time I would have been disappointed. My view of life had a tendency of being highly polarized when it comes to human relationships. You're in or you're out. If I love you I will do everything for you. If I don't I will harvest your soul and sell it to the dark master. What. Just kidding. Not about polarization. I would put people on pedestal and project on them unrealistic expectations. They would inevitably fall from the heights and as Holy Metallica sings "The higher you are The farther you fall" All or nothing. It makes for a lonely life.
Recently I was talking to some friends dealing with disappointment over people's flakiness. I can totally relate. I deal with it on a daily basis and I just have to accept it or totally change my lifestyle. It is pretty unbelievable what human beings are capable of and being stood up while not the worst of all, is still pretty damn annoying. They say that the key is not to have any expectations at all - then you're never disappointed. But I thought that sounds so sad. Surely, I'd like to expect my friends to be loyal to me, I'd expect my partner to love me, I'd expect myself to keep the word I give? Life without expectations seems a bit jaded and bitter. I surely wanted to expect kindness, love and loyalty from those I'm close with and I want them to be able to expect the same from me. I kept thinking about it whole week, then a friend pointed out it's quite unfair to project unrealistic expectations on people, especially if they are unaware of them. I couldn't disagree with him and then I realized we are talking here about two different ways of holding expectations.
The first - my old way - you meet someone, You project the hell out on them. You put upfront all sorts of labels on them according to your current relationship with them, your past experiences, your imprint, prejudgments. They are then supposed to live up to the image you created for them. If they don't, they lose and disappoint you. Obviously.
Second - you connect with someone and according to their actions with time, you evaluate what can be expected from them. You become close, you know you can count on them - or not. Of course, we are only human, sometimes it hurts a little if you were hoping for something different than what happened. Sometimes people change and the judgement have to be adjusted. People change. You change. Circumstances change. Judgment is ok. It is here to help us survive, without it we would be sitting and evaluating the moral position of the tiger in the world while in the meantime it would rip us into pieces and have us for dinner. The key is not to get attached and identified with these judgments, so that the ideals don't fall crashing down from the pedestal and ruin your temple.
I came to accept that people will come and go. That some will get out of their way to find an hour to talk to me while some will always find something better to do. It is ok, not every person I say hi to will become my best friend. And I will adjust my behavior accordingly. You give, you take. There has to be balance in the Force. It would be very exhausting to tell everyone the darkest secrets of my soul and then just assume they should do the same in return. That's no way to live. Stay well grounded, have plenty to give plenty. Don't go around giving your time freely then cry when you're left with nothing. Where are those willing to give, those willing to take will show up. Not all of them will want to give back. And that's ok, you've got the power to decide what to do with your time, energy and resources. Decide, unashamed, for life is painfully short and there is no going back.
I have realized I do not really feel lonely after acquiring that attitude although I spend most of my time alone. Now some of my closest friends are far or even further. No, not that far as to say in different dimension, just behind the smaller or greater water. These friendships are not any less valuable than if we sat every day over coffee. Let's be honest, no one would like to see that much of me. I mean, I talk a lot. And I ask questions. A lot of questions. Several times. And I am weird. For example, you are not allowed to whistle. You can only walk on my right side otherwise I can't see you. Etc.
I know I am loved cause I give myself love by being protective of my time and energy. I have no mercy for those who want me just to feed their empty souls. They hide behind masks of flattery and adoration but I can see through them. I am not here to provide entertainment for those who want a quick release from misery and to feed their selfish souls. They will never have enough. I want to be of service, create and inspire and that requires me to expect from myself more than I would from anyone else. It is my duty. It is how I experience love and how I have enough to give others and enrich other's lives.
I have a place for some very strong connections in my life. There are deep feelings I can't explain, of different kind, that are fairly new to me, as I think that for example love as such has been an obscure feeling for me until not long ago and I'm still trying to understand what it means. It's like learning a new language from the beginning. But by no means I am saying I have become a tower that doesn't let anyone in in the name of some higher mission. I'm just saying that time is precious and in order to give to ourselves and those we love, we need to make choices and sacrifices. Such is life and such is its beauty.